Loan sharks ( illegal moneylenders) which are also known as ‘Ah Long’ in Singapore. Involvement loan shark’s activities are one of the serious offence in Singapore. First-time offenders found guilty of assisting in the carrying on of the business of an unlicensed moneylender, may be fined not less than $30,000/- and not more than $300,000/-, be imprisoned for a term not exceeding four years and shall also be liable to be punished with caning of not more than six strokes. Those who are acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, commit or attempt to commit any acts of harassment shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, fine not less than $5,000/- and not more than $50,000/- and shall also be liable to be caned not more than 6 strokes.
Police will to come down hard on any persons involved in loansharking activities, regardless of their age or involvement. The penalties for loansharking and loanshark-related offences are heavy, and loansharks who direct harassment or harassers who carry out acts resulting in damage to property (including splashing of paint and writings) or hurt to persons will also be caned.”
Inmates with loansharking criminal record will not be eligible for home detention program.
So why are there still so many people getting involve in loan shark’s activities since it is a serious offence?
From what I know, most of the common causes are due to gambling. Most of the gamblers will approach the loan sharks for loans if they are not eligible for bank loans/ legal moneylenders. And due to the high interest rates charged from the loan sharks, they are unable to settle the payment on time. In the end, some of them claimed that they have no other choices but to assist the loan sharks in their activities to repay the outstanding loans.
ID: 4XX1, the inmate whom I have met while on the way back to my cell room after my family visit. He told me that he had came in to prison for a few times and this time he was sentenced to 1 year jail term due to involvement of loansharking activities. It is his first time involvement in loansharking activities and his job is only to withdrawn out the funds from ATM machines and then pass the funds to ‘someone’ whom he never known or met before. Last than 1 month of his involvement, he was ambushed and arrested by the police force.
I can still remember very clearly on what he have told me before we are separated. He said after his release he will never get involved with loan sharks again anymore. Although it is easy money to him, he would rather collect illegal bets like 4D/ TOTO/ Soccer as the risk is lower and sentence is lighter!
Well, I never expected this is what he told me. But one thing for sure on what he is trying to said is getting involve in loansharking activities is not worth it and is a 100% died end!
One of my roommates was sentenced to 6 months jail term due to involvement of loansharking activities as well. He is a young guy living in a normal decent lifestyle till one day his ‘best’ friend recommend him a ‘lobang’. All he need to do is just open bank accounts using his own name and give the ATM cards of his bank accounts to his ‘best’ friend. He will be paid $400 per card given. He was not informed that it was for loansharking activities, instead his friend told him that it was used for funds transfer on soccer betting.
He opened 2 bank accounts as he trusted his ‘best’ friend and had earn $800 just by opening bank accounts. But soon he started to worry, he closed the bank accounts immediately. 1 month passed and he thought everything will be fine... But he is wrong, soon the police officers went to his flat directly, arrested him and he was being charged for involvement in loansharking activities .
Due to his greed and trusting his ‘best’ friend, he ended up himself in jail and had destroyed his entire future.
Advice: Never be greedy, be wise and be safe to check and know full details before you agreed to help anyone on any favours. Even working for a company without knowing company’s background may causes you trouble. Do you remember the recent news reported on newspapers and TV regarding about 150 students from different secondary schools were summoned to the police station for investigations due to their part-time job as distributing flyers for a company which turned up to be loan sharks?
Here’s another recent article regarding the loan shark runner can be as young as secondary students:
Teen "loanshark runner" arrested
04:09 PM Aug 27, 2011
SINGAPORE - Police have arrested a 15 year old for suspected involvement in loanshark harassment.
He was spotted behaving suspiciously by officers on anti-loanshark operations in Serangoon North Ave 4 Friday.
Police said his mobile phone contained information believed to be related to loansharking activities.
He's believed to have carried out loanshark harassment by splashing paint and scrawling loanshark graffiti on the walls of debtors' units in Indus Road and Boon Lay.
The suspect will be charged in court Sunday with loanshark harassment. CHANNEL NEWSASIA
To all the young readers: Be wise and don’t let your greed destroy your life forever!
Back to Dayroom 3 and while I was sitting outside my cell room waiting for the door to open, there was a malay inmate sitting opposite me waiting for his cell room’s door to open as well. We chat for awhile and I learnt that he was sentenced to jail due to involvement with loansharking activities as well. He worked as ‘commander’ for the loan sharks. ‘Commander’ is the one who throw paints on doors, writing on walls (Example: O$P$) and burning of borrower’s property. He was sentences to 1 year jail and 3 strokes of ‘Rattan’...
Dear Readers, I have not gone through ‘rotan’ stage so whatever I write here is based on hearsay!
In the prison’s world, the most fearful moment for the inmates beside hanging, is ‘Rotan’ (In malay language) which means caning. I was being told that ‘rotan’ session is normally done on every Tuesday and Friday of the week.
A convicted male criminal who is between the ages of 18 and 50 and has been certified medically fit by a medical officer may be subjected to judicial caning, receiving a maximum of 24 strokes of the cane on any one occasion, irrespective of the total number of offences committed. If the offender is under 18 he may receive up to 10 strokes of the cane, but a lighter rattan cane will be used in this case.
The convict will not be caned if he has been sentence to death.
Singaporean law allows caning to be ordered for over 30 offences, including hostage-taking, robbery, gang robbery with murder drug use, vandalism, and rioting. Caning is also a mandatory punishment for certain offences such as rape, drug trafficking, illegal, loansharking activities and for visiting foreigners who overstay their visa by more than 90 days, a measure designed to deter illegal immigrant workers.
A rattan cane four feet (1.2 metres) long and half an inch (1.27 cm) thick is used for prison and judicial canings. The cane is soaked in water beforehand to make it heavier and more flexible.
Caning is in practice always ordered in addition to a jail sentence and never as a punishment by itself. It is administered in an enclosed area in the prison, out of view of the public and other inmates. Those present are limited to the inmate, prison wardens, medical officers, the caning officer and sometimes high-ranking prison officials to witness the punishment.
An inmate sentenced to caning receives no advance warning as to when he will be caned, and is notified only on the day his sentence is to be carried out. In the caning room, the inmate is ordered to strip naked and receives a medical examination by the prison doctor to check whether he is medically fit for caning, by measuring his blood pressure and other physical conditions. If the doctor gives the green light, the inmate then receives his caning, but if he is certified unfit for punishment, he is sent back to the court for his prison term to be increased instead. A prison official confirms with him the number of strokes he is to receive.
The inmate is then led to the A-shaped frame (called a "caning trestle") and his wrists and ankles secured tightly to the frame by strong leather straps in such a way that he assumes a bent-over position on the frame at an angle of close to 90° at the hip, with his posterior protruding. Protective padding is placed on his lower back to protect the vulnerable kidney and lower spine area from any mis-strokes so that only his buttocks are exposed to the cane. The officer administering the caning takes up position beside the frame and delivers the number of strokes specified in the sentence, at intervals of 10 to 15 seconds. He is required to put his full force into each stroke. The strokes are administered all in one caning session, unless the medical officer certifies that the inmate cannot receive any more strokes because of his condition, in which case the rest of the strokes are converted to additional prison time.
After the caning, the inmate is released from the frame and receives medical treatment. Antiseptic lotion is applied and the wounds left to heal. Where a large number of strokes is given, there is long-term scarring of the buttocks.
I was also being told by some of the inmates that the screams of the victims after each stroke of the whip makes one lose all appetite for food. The cane breaks skin and draws blood. Doctors are on hand to administer treatment and to assess if the individual can take more punishment...
Next Chapter: Home Detention First Interview To Be Continued
< ’Wednesday’ A new day arrived> I stare at the ceiling blankly. I know it is now 5am as the lights have just switched on and I can hear my neighbor showering. I have now slowly adapted to the prison’s life.
Although I know today will be another long meaningless day for me, I am still looking forward to meet new inmates and learnt more about the meaning of life. I want to make used and promise myself to be useful to the society again after my release. I have done many stupid things and due to my selfishness, I have made people near me suffered as well. Although I know myself I am not a professional legal trained.. I really hope whatever I reveal in my story can help and change people’s life.
After my breakfast, I was being notified to attend a interview regarding PPP program (Home detention scheme). Beside me, there are a few other inmates from other dayrooms as well. We were being escorted to the interview room within the same building and we were all being briefed by a highly ranked prison officer in the interview room.
He told that based on our records and backgrounds, we were selected and he will recommend us for PPP Program (Home Detention scheme). However, he told us that it is still not confirm as there are requirement, terms & conditions for us to fulfill and we are to undergo a second interview 1 week later if we wish to take up the PPP program.
He briefed us on our estimated home detention duration and other important requirement for PPP program:
- Require a normal ‘Singtel’ Telephone line for home detention more than 7 days
- No smoking/ drinking/ gambling (buying of 4D/ TOTO) during detention program
- Inmates are only allowed to leave our house from 12pm – 3pm daily (Different timing for special occasions).
- We are to be 24 hours for spot checks and be prepared to recall back to CPC for urine check at all time.
We’ll have the option to reject the home detention scheme and don’t be surprised that there are a few inmates who actually rejected the home detention scheme on the spot.
They claimed that they don’t have family support ( either homeless or staying alone), some felt that the duration of the program is too short and some thought it is too troublesome so they rather choose to stay in prison to complete their sentences.
What is Home Detention Scheme:
HOME DETENTION SCHEME
"Home Detention" , in relation to a prisoner, means the serving by the prisoner of his sentence of imprisonment in such place or places, outside the limits of any prison, as may be specified in the home detention order;
"home detention order" means an order of the Director under section 52;
"Superintendent" , in relation to a prisoner, means the Superintendent of the prison from which the prisoner had been released for home detention.
Order for home detention 52. Subject to section 53, the Director may, if he thinks fit, by order release a prisoner who is eligible for home detention for a period not exceeding 12 months or such other period as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, prescribe in substitution thereof.
Eligibility for home detention 53. —(1) A prisoner is eligible to be released for home detention under section 52 if —
(a) he is serving a sentence of imprisonment for a term of not less than 4 weeks or such other period as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, prescribe in substitution thereof;
(aa) he has served not less than 14 days of his sentence of imprisonment or such other period as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, prescribe in substitution thereof; and
(b) he is not a prisoner specified under the Schedule as being disqualified from being released for home detention under section 52.
(1A) The disqualification of a prisoner under subsection (1) (b) may be removed by the Minister if he considers that the prisoner is deserving of home detention, having regard to the circumstances of the case, including the following factors:
(a) the prisoner’s progress and response to rehabilitation in prison;
(b) the prisoner’s family support; and
(c) the risk of recidivism by the prisoner.
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1) (a), the total consecutive periods of imprisonment of whatever nature shall be treated as one sentence.
Conditions for home detention 54. —(1) A prisoner subject to a home detention order shall —
(a) remain indoors at his place of residence or at such other place or places as may be designated by the Director in the order, and between such times as may be specified in the order;
(b) wear at all times on such part of his body as the Director may specify, such electronic transmitting device as may be issued by the Director for the purpose of securing the electronic monitoring of his whereabouts by means of an electronic monitoring device;
(c) allow the Superintendent and any person authorised by the Superintendent to enter at any time his place of residence, or such other place or places designated by the Director under paragraph (a), to install, inspect, maintain, repair or retrieve any electronic monitoring device;
(d) allow a telephone line at his place of residence, or at such other place or places designated by the Director under paragraph (a), to be connected to an electronic monitoring device;
(e) ensure that there is no call waiting or call transfer facility attached to the telephone line referred to in paragraph (d) and that the telephone line is not connected to any cordless telephone, telephone answering machine, parallel telephone line, modulator — demodulator unit or any other equipment which may interfere with the proper functioning of the electronic monitoring device;
(f) not disconnect, remove, damage, tamper with, or lose the electronic transmitting device issued to him or the electronic monitoring device installed at his place of residence or at such other place or places designated by the Director under paragraph (a), or disconnect, remove, damage or tamper with the telephone line connected to the electronic monitoring device;
(g) immediately inform the Superintendent or any prison officer of any malfunction or loss of, or damage to, the electronic transmitting device or the electronic monitoring device;
(h) respond promptly to any telephone call from any person appointed by the Director to monitor prisoners who have been issued with an electronic transmitting device; and
(i) comply with such other conditions as the Director may specify in the order.
(2) The Director may at any time by order in writing served on the prisoner subject to a home detention order —
(a) vary, cancel or add to any of the conditions specified in subsection (1); or
(b) exempt the prisoner from any of the conditions specified in subsection (1).
Effect of home detention order 55. Where a home detention order is in force in respect of a prisoner —
(a) the prisoner shall be deemed to be serving his sentence of imprisonment;
(b) the prisoner shall be deemed to be in the lawful custody of the Superintendent; and
(c) the prisoner is entitled to earn remission in respect of the period of imprisonment which is served under the order.
Recall to prison 56. —(1) If a Superintendent has reason to suspect that a prisoner has failed to comply with any of the conditions of the home detention order, or has committed a disciplinary offence while being subject to a home detention order, the Superintendent may —
(a) make such inquiry as may be necessary to ascertain whether the prisoner has failed to comply with any of the conditions of the home detention order or committed a disciplinary offence while being subject to the order; and
(b) recall the prisoner to prison pending the completion of the inquiry.
(2) The period of the home detention order of a prisoner who is recalled to prison under subsection (1) (b) shall continue to run, notwithstanding the fact that he is recalled to prison, unless the order is revoked under section 57 or suspended under section 58.
Revocation of home detention order 57. —(1) If the Director is satisfied that —
(a) a prisoner has failed to return to prison after he has been recalled to prison under section 56 (1) (b);
(b) a prisoner has failed to comply with any of the conditions of the home detention order;
(c) a prisoner has committed a disciplinary offence while being subject to a home detention order;
(d) the whereabouts of a prisoner can no longer be electronically monitored at his place of residence, or at such other place or places at which the prisoner is required to remain within doors under the conditions of the home detention order; or
(e) it is necessary in the public interest to do so,
the Director may revoke the home detention order in respect of that prisoner and recall the prisoner to prison, and the prisoner shall, if at large, be deemed to be unlawfully at large.
(2) Upon the revocation of the home detention order under subsection (1), the prisoner shall serve the unexpired part of his sentence of imprisonment in prison.
Suspension of home detention order 58. —(1) Subject to subsection (2), where a prisoner subject to a home detention order is punished for a minor prison offence under section 70 (1) (a) or (b), or for an aggravated prison offence under section 71
(1) (b) or (c), the home detention order in respect of the prisoner shall, unless revoked under section 57, be suspended from the date on which the prisoner is punished for —
(a) the period that the prisoner is confined in a punishment cell pursuant to an order under section 70 (1) (a) or 71 (1) (b); or
(b) the period of remission which is forfeited pursuant to an order under section 70 (1) (b) or 71 (1) (c).
(2) If a prisoner is punished with both confinement in a punishment cell under section 70 (1) (a) or 71 (1) (b) and forfeiture of remission under section 70 (1) (b) or 71 (1) (c), the period for which the home detention order shall be suspended under subsection (1) shall be the sum of the period for which the prisoner is ordered to undergo confinement and the period of remission forfeited.
Powers to enter and search 59. A police officer of or above the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police or a police officer authorised by him may —
(a) enter and search a place without a warrant to effect the arrest of any prisoner who has failed to return to prison after he is recalled by the Superintendent under section 56 (1) (b); and
(b) in order to effect an entrance into that place, break open any outer or inner door or window of that place if he cannot otherwise obtain admittance thereto.
After the briefing, we were told by the officer to wait outside as he need to interview us individually. While waiting for my turn for the interview, I spoke to the inmate who was sitting beside me.
He is 3xx2. He is a indian in mid-forties. He told me that he was being charged for robbery. He was sentenced to jail term for 2 years 6 months + strokes of rotan (I don’t quite remember how many)
There was a day when a foreign worker from china tried to pick pocket one of his friend in the midnight. 3xx2 was with his friend and other 2 when this incident happened. His friend noticed that he had been pickpocket by the foreign worker and he told the group about it. Soon, the group managed to find and capture the foreign worker. They forced him into their van. They drove to Lim Chu Kang cemetery, tied him up and bash him up. The foreign worker plead to stop and offered them all his money in his pocket (about $10000). The group agreed and left quickly after taking the foreign worker’s money.
The group was arrested by the police within 1 week after the robbery.
From what he told me, I thought he was helping out a friend, out for revenge and to teach the foreign worker a lesson. In the end, his greed has destroyed him and his group of friends.
Soon I was being called into the interview room and the officer start to ask questions about my lifestyle, my work history, my crimes and my family background. The whole interview lasted for about 20 minutes. I was told to wait and I will be informed for the second interview if I am eligible.
Back to my cell room 629, I was informed to pack my belongings after 3pm muster check as I am transferring to other cell room....
Hi inmate, v good reading materials, and good job on u for sending out the message across all boards. You can try to post it on channelnewsasia market talk forum. There's more viewerships..u can reach out to more people Channelnewsasia.com Forum
From what i knew caning is carried out by SPEAR personnel and since one is required to put full force in each stroke a SPEAR personnel is limited to give 3-4 stroke each to inmates(Eg: A inmate sentenced to be given 24 strokes will required 8 spear personnel to carry out the caning).
Chapter 6.1: B4/ HU1/ Room 208
Soon the cellroom door opened and my name was being called by the cookie. I do not know where I am transfering. I farewell to my roommates and exchange contacts before I step out from my cell room.
While assumble outside of dayroom 3, I can see there are others about 20 inmates including from other dayrooms beside me. We were being briefed to bring along our belongings and we will be transfer to HU1 ( HU1 consists of level 1 and 2 in B4) We were later being escort to the level 1 ( HU1) by a prison officer.
Another prison officer from level 1 took over and we were escorted to Dayroom 1 in HU1. The cookies and the prison officers from there carefully inspect our belongings. Then a briefing and orientation about HU1 house rules and regulations was conducted by a prison officer.
Most rules remain the same but somehow to me, HU1 tends to be much stricter. The only difference is our yardtime and dayroom activities are 2 hours.
We headed directly to our assigned cellroom after the briefing. Together with me, there are other 3 inmates from HU3 heading to the same cell room, 208.
I was nervous, I don’t know what type of my new roommates will be and what is coming in this new envoirment. The cellroom door open and I can see there are another 4 inmates inside. It seems that I am the youngest among all.
Remain calm and quiet, I put my belonging on the assigned area told by one of the inmate from the room. After I settle down, I self-introduce myself and ask the roommates about their own house rules.
After spending some time talking and listening to their conversation, I found out that the reason on why I have been transferred to HU1. HU1 is normally the last station for inmates who are releasing soon.
One more interesting thing I was being told; Room 209 and 210 which were just next to our cellroom, those inmates being locked up in the 2 cell rooms are the ones which we have alsobeen warned by the prison officers not to get near and communicate with anyone of them. Being caught by the officers will be punished. At first I thought those inmates are the ‘GRADE A’ prisoners (commit serious offences and was isolated) but I was wrong, they were somehow special than us…
For respect, we do not address them as ‘brothers’, instead we address them as ‘Sisters’................
. Chapter 6.2: Sisters To Be continued
The orientation briefed by the police officer at HU1 was very clear and straight forward. All inmates are to obey and follow their house rules and we will be safe from punishment. There is another additional rule which we are to obey strictly. We are not supposed to have any communication with ‘Captain Mike’ at all times who are being locked up in Room 209/ 210 of HU1.
Wondering who are ‘Captain Mike’, I asked my new roommates in my cell room 208…
We address these ‘Captain Mike’ as ‘Sisters’. These are the inmates who are half transsexual. Most of them are Malays. They are the LT inmates in Cluster B who are all gathered and isolated together in room 209/ 210. Their hairs are the same length as any of us. These sisters are not allowed to communicate nor have their activities together with other inmates (us) at all times. They are being locked up in their cell room while we go out for ‘yard’ activity. They are the ones who can only stay at level 2 during ‘Dayroom’ activity while the rest of us will be gathered at level 1. They are the inmates who go out for work during daytime and only be back to their cell room in the night time. They are the ones who are allowed to wear an additional inner cloth together with the inmate’s shirt.
During lights off in the night, these sisters sound so cheerful, chatting and singing loudly while we are sleeping.
What crimes have they committed?
What do they work as while serving their sentences?
Where is their working location?
No inmates know… But one thing for sure is that these ‘sisters’ are treated with respect and equally by the prison officers.
Information: Primary health care for inmates is currently provided by qualified doctors and medical staff from a professional medical service provider. All newly-admitted inmates shall be seen by a doctor. They should inform the doctor of any pre-existing illness and any medication they were taking prior to their admission. All inmates are given adequate medical care during their incarceration
After being locked up in CPC for days, I thought it will be a good chance for me to quit smoking which I have tried a number of attempts before. I can only admit that my will was not strong enough before.
For the first two days in CPC, feeling helpless, stress and all types of negative emotions, I was miserable for the first few days without smoking. But as time passed living in a smoke-free environment, I have overcome this miserable feeling and had slowly get used to the healthy lifestyle once again. I am not alone, many others have quit their smoking habits after their release.
Till one fine day my throat feels dry and hurt whenever I swallow my saliva. I have proper meals, enough sleep and not smoke throughout my days in CPC so I do not know the reason what causes my throat to hurt. Is it due to sudden stop of smoking? Is it due the warm temperature in cell room? Or is it due to the consuming of tap water from the cell room?
I have been told that once I reported sick, I’ll have to stay in my cell room at all times for the next three days without activities. My normal food menu may change and I may even get isolated if my body temperature runs high. Knowing all the consequences, I am prepared to report sick as I know myself that my sickness will worsen if I choose not to do anything about it.
The cookie will normally went around the cell rooms to check if any inmates want to report sick and see to the doctor on the next following day. I waited for his arrival and registered my name.
< The Next Day> I was being called up after muster check in the morning. Together with other inmates from all dayrooms who have reported sick, we were escorted to the sick bay area within the same building.
Upon reaching the destination, walking past the lock-up rooms located inside the sick bay, I can see through clearly what the inmates in those lock-up rooms are doing as it was not blocked by the normal blue color cell room’s door but are piles of iron bars. There were beds in those lock-up rooms, there are inmates being handcruff to the bed. Some are lying on the beds, facing directly the the bright lights from the ceiling while others hide themselves under the beds…
Throughout the whole process was quite fast and the doctor are from Raffles Medical Group. Medicine was issued for my sickness and the timing for consuming the medicine are standard in CPC which will be half hour before our meals.
Information: Notice for time to eat medicine: ‘Jia York’
On the way back after we are done, inmates who are running high fever were ordered to pack their belongings and they will be isolated together in a individual cell room.
Throughout this experience, I have seen and met inmates who have purposely committed crimes for the sake of the free medical care in CPC which they couldn’t afford in the outside world. Some reported sick hoping to use this excuse to enlighten their sentences and others claim to be sick (which they are not) for various reasons.
I would advice to anyone who will be going in to CPC soon that it will be a wise choice for you not to report sick unnecessary. As mentioned by most of the ex-convicts, one of the biggest nightmare in CPC is when you got sick. Take very good care of your health in CPC and pray for yourself not to get any serious sickness throughout your lockup. It is also a wise choice for you not to report sick if you are totally not sick.